Didi Pershouse featured in Upper Valley Life Magazine

Didi Pershouse, founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, is featured in this month’s (March/April 2008) issue of Upper Valley Life Magazine. The article (written by Elizabeth Ferry) discusses her practice as a homeopath and acupuncturist at the Two Rivers Clinic in Thetford Center, Vermont, as well as her ideas on Sustainable Medicine. Phoebe, the medical dog at Two Rivers Clinic, is featured in the photograph that accompanies the article.

Phoebe and the Wolf

s5000206.JPGSometimes working with an M.D. (Medical Dog) can be a bit tricky in unanticipated ways. Phoebe is a quiet dog, unusually quiet for a small dog who is only 18 months old.

My friend Beth Rettig who is a massage therapist, had given me all her favorite music to play for clients, and I have been working my way through them, trying them out one at a time.

I put a CD on I hadn’t tried before. It started with a nice waterfall sound, and some tropical birds, then went into a long meditative flute and drum thing. As the client relaxed, I puttered around the office, and Phoebe, the Medical Dog, went into her usual meditative mode, curled up in my chair. Her little black nose tucked under her big fluffy tail, like an arctic fox, dreaming of little arctic mice.

The client relaxing on my acupuncture table was wiggling his big toe in time to the music, but slowly he relaxed and fell sound asleep as the needles did their magic.

In the background of the music, breaking through the drums, came a long slow howl of a wolf. Phoebe leapt into action, barking wildly, apparently thinking that a wolf had crept in during the lull and was hiding under my desk. My client, who has a strong startle reflex, let out a yelp of his own.

I put my hands on him to help him calm down, and apologized, explaining that I had never heard the tape before. Then I had to do the same for Phoebe. Then we all had a good laugh.

I guess I’ll be previewing all the rest of the tapes before I play them.

Introducing Phoebe, M.D.

s5000022.JPGI have a colleague who works with me at my clinic. Her name is Phoebe. She’s pretty small, with soft blond hair and dark eyes. Only about 12 pounds. She is an M.D. –Medical Dog, that is. Sometimes I call her my blond receptionist, but that’s just a joke between us. She knows she’s the only one in the building who is really an M.D. The rest of us are just Licensed practitioners of things like Acupuncture, Naturopathic Medicine, and Psychology.

What makes her an M.D.? Well, the other day my disabled neighbor fell and knocked herself out cold. Phoebe, who was the only one there to help, licked her back to consciousness. Since then we’ve called her a medical dog. When Phoebe was only 9 months old, this same neighbor who is also profoundly deaf was getting out of the shower and didn’t hear that someone was knocking on the front door. Phoebe, who happened to be visiting, took a hold of her bathrobe and led her all the way through the house to the door.

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